New Energy Efficient Televisions in Stores Saturday

WASHINGTON, DC, October 30, 2008 (ENS) - Televisions meeting the federal government's new, more comprehensive energy efficiency specification will be available in stores nationwide, starting on Saturday. TVs that meet the new Energy Star specification will be up to 30 percent more energy efficient than conventional models.

"EPA encourages consumers to look for the Energy Star label when buying new televisions," said U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson. "Energy Star’s new specifications for televisions are turning the channel on energy guzzling sets."

There are about 275 million TVs currently in use in the United States, consuming over 50 billion kilowatt hours of energy each year - about four percent of all households' electricity use. This is enough electricity to power all the homes in the state of New York for an entire year, according to federal government calculations.

If all televisions sold in the United States met the new Energy Star requirements, the savings in energy costs would be about $1 billion annually and greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by the equivalent of about one million cars, Johnson said.

The Version 3.0 Energy Star TV products specification was finalized on February 4, 2008. It requires energy efficiency when televisions are on, as well as off or in "standby" mode.

It also requires the use of external power supplies that have earned the Energy Star label, where applicable. This new specification is important since televisions being sold now are larger, in use more hours a day, and offer more vibrant pictures, which can increase the amount of electricity they use.

In fact, some of the largest, high resolution televisions can use as much as 500 kilowatt hours per year.

The new specification applies to all brands of television sets. Manufacturers have qualified their models ahead of the November 1, 2008 effective date. Energy Star qualified televisions can be found at most stores where electronics are sold.

Consumers who want to buy new TVs are encouraged to ask their sales associates for newly qualified Energy Star sets to ensure they are getting a television that qualifies under this enhanced specification.

Even more energy efficient televisions are on the way. Energy Star has just added energy-efficiency guidelines for digital cable ready televisions with a point of deployment, POD, slot.

These TVs add the functions of a cable box to the television set by using a card that users can get from their local cable operators. Energy Star qualified versions of these TVs are not yet available, but look for them in the future.

The Energy Star program was introduced by the U.S. EPA and the U.S. Energy Department in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce energy use through efficiency standards.

Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 50 different kinds of products as well as buildings and new homes. Products that have earned the Energy Star label prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government.

Federal government data show that in 2007, Americans using Energy Star products saved $16 billion on their energy bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million vehicles.

To see ENS previous coverage of the new Energy Star TV specification, click here.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.

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